The Skookum Tour

Sometimes following a bold plan requires making bold decisions – decisions that some might even be considered reckless and risky.

And that’s exactly what I’ve done.

I got on an airplane in the middle of a global pandemic to travel 3,400 km (2108 miles) to Vancouver Island on our extreme west coast to again chase trails across this great country of ours.

French Beach

This trip was a year in planning with Deb from the Widow Badass. She broke my heart by moving to Vancouver Island in May, but in many ways it simply made it easier to thumb my nose at this pandemic and stick with our original plans.

Sandcut Beach

We’re each trying to find our way through this pandemic in our own ways – some have embraced social media even more than usual to stay connected, while others, like me, withdrew and largely cut ourselves off from the world.

To put it another way – I lost my mojo.

With this post I’m trying to crawl my way back into the blogging community I so dearly loved.

Trail to Sandcut Beach

You will meet some new characters on this Skookum Tour … bloggers I’ve known for some time who live on Vancouver Island and I’m finally getting a chance to meet in person. They made no attempt to resist the opportunity to join Deb and I on some of our adventures.

Meet Erica (left) and Donna (right) joining Deb (centre) and I on our 3 beach tour outside of Victoria on Day 2

If you don’t know these great women, you can find Erica at Behind the Scenery and Donna at Retirement Reflections.

This is what blogging is all about – sharing our lives and experiences with other people, sharing their lives and experiences with them, and when we’re really, really lucky, someday we actually get to build some memories together.

The only part that was even remotely strange was not hugging these long time friends.

Sandcut Beach

So, you’re probably wondering what this word ‘Skookum‘ actually means. It is a word I was introduced to shortly after I arrived. Apparently it is part of the west coast vernacular, and if Wikipedia is to be believed, it has Chinook origins with a variety of meanings from “brave” and “strong” to “powerful” and “ultimate”.

Yes, this is the perfect word for this newest adventure.

So I hope you will join me on this 10 day exploration of beautiful Vancouver Island.

It will be Skookum.


  1. Wow! What a wonderful journey and a great blessing. Love the photos and the energy! Thank you for sharing your friendship adventure with us.


  2. I’ve made it over to your blog through Erica’s. Great to virtually meet you (waving from the UK) and so pleased you made it over to meet with bloggy friends 🙂 Looks like it was well worth the trip and of course glad you’ve found your mojo!


    • Hi Sam! Thank you for dropping in to visit. I love meeting friends of friends 🙂

      There is something quite special about finally meeting a long time friend you have never met in real life – but I think the pandemic added an extra layer of ‘extraordinary’ to it. It was so humbling for me to have these wonderful women come out of their bubbles to embrace a week of adventures with me.

      Bold? Yes … but so much more ❤️


    • The friends we make and nurture make everything better. I would never have made this trip this year just for the sake of exploring a beautiful location. The people are what drove this plan and it was completely worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Joanne, what a wonderful trip! Friendship is one of the greatest blessings and gift we can receive on this earth. Coming on a year since I took one of the best vacations ever with a good friend, I understand the warmth you must still be feeling and the connections that will never be lost with time. Vancouver is beautiful and I hope you have the opportunity to do this again and make more memories with these good friends.


    • Thank you so much, Mary. Yes, good friends are priceless and this trip couldn’t have been more special. I have ‘known’ Erica and Donna for a few years, but finally meeting them and getting to share big chunks of time with them was a gift. I feel so lucky ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like you NEEDED this trip in a big way, Joanne! Kudos for having the courage to get on that plane. And for sharing the adventure — I learned a new word today. Skookum? Who knew?


  5. Following your adventures on the various blogs, on Facebook, and on Instagram has been a joy (well… not as joyful as it would have been had I been able to join you). I did a happy dance when I learned that you finally decided to make the trip, and I can see that it has been everything you hoped for! Thanks for taking flat me along for some of your skookum adventures! I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful pictures… and blog posts!


  6. Joanne I loved that you followed your heart and went West to visit your dear friend. I don’t see anything reckless in that at all. We all need to do what we need to do. Looking forward to hearing more about your visit


  7. So wonderful to see you pop up in my reader today & even better that you are on an adventure! Wishing you the most amazing time as you explore this incredible part of our country!🇨🇦😘


    • I was really disappointed in April when we had to cancel our plans to hike the Appalachian, so I was quite determined to make Vancouver Island work. Day 3 is now coming to a close and I’m already smitten with this beautiful place.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Really looking forward to it. It will probably be the closest I ever get to VI. Your writing style is inclusive, joyful, with a lovely touch of humour. It is great to see it back on a blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Joanne! You know Janis and I would have loved to be there (besides being a cutout) to join in the fun and adventure. I am loving your photos and seeing all your smiling faces. Thanks for sharing them. ~Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It is so good to see you back, Joanne. I don’t go hardly anywhere…to the store and back. BUT, I am not wearing a mask while I post this comment. Pretty skookum, right?! 😀


  11. Dear Joanne, Tears brimming as I am reading this post. A lump in my throat. You captured well the feelings. And the feelings are mutual. I shared your post with Chuck and now he has tears brimming. All good and heart felt. ❤️

    I am grateful to have the chance to finally meet my inspirational blogging friend, Joanne. I already knew Joanne is kind, thoughtful, interesting and fun. Yet, when I meet bloggers in real life, I am always in awe of the “more factor”. The “better than” could be imagined.

    This Skookum adventure is not over yet. It has just begun.
 xx ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  12. How wonderful you kept your plans and met up with these lovely ladies! I’m so glad you and Deb are hiking and hanging out together in her new home, and you got to meet Erica too!

    Sandcut Beach is lovely and so unique. I’m looking forward to seeing more and seeing you get your blogging mojo back. 🥰

    Liked by 2 people

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